ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – St. Peter’s Health Partners is celebrating the completion of 20,000 robotic-assisted surgeries, a milestone that’s only been achieved by a little more than two dozen other health care systems across the world. SPHP officials say the accomplishment shows the provider continues to be at the forefront for innovative medical technology.

“What this shows is St. Peter’s continues to be in the vanguard in bringing leading edge technologies to our patients,” said Dr. James Reed, President and CEO of SPHP, as the local provider celebrates being one of just 26 systems in the world to reach the achievement.

SPHP has used the Da Vinci Computer-Enhanced Surgical System since 2004, giving surgeons an innovative and minimally invasive way to treat a number of different conditions.

“It’s pretty phenomenal what the robot has done in terms of my approach to doing surgeries over the years,” said Dr. Christopher Bloss, Medical Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Samaritan Hospital in Troy.

As part of the 20,000 surgery celebration, one of Bloss’ patients told her story about what the surgery has meant for her, “Everything. It’s my life back. I didn’t realize how much pain I had been in every single day for so many years until the pain was gone,” said Alison Herdemian.

Herdemian was diagnosed with stage four endometriosis and was told conventional surgery would be too risky, “So I was just going to have to keep suffering and living in pain. So I was referred to Dr. Bloss, and he didn’t even think about it, he didn’t even think about it. He said I’ll do it.”

On top of getting relief from the surgery, Herdemian said the minimally invasive nature meant a much shorter recovery time, saying she only experienced soreness for a few weeks.

So how does the robotic surgery work? SPHP gave those interested in attendance of the celebration Friday an opportunity to get a hands-on simulation of the technology.

The Da Vinci machine is activated when you put your head into the monitor, which gives you a three dimensional look inside. You move the robotic arms with your hands and can control the camera with your feet, making you feel like you’re in control the entire time.

“When this came on board, I was like I need to get into this, I’m a tech geek. It’s just made it so much easier,” Bloss explained.